Getting back into the school mode

August is nearly over which means students of all ages are adjusting their summer routines to Autumn awareness.   New books, new schedules, new hair cuts… Student brains everywhere are busy absorbing all the new information that their teachers give while trying to figure out exactly when their designated playtime will be.  While I was sitting in my ‘Wildland Trees and Shrubs” course at the Santa Rosa Junior College, my teacher pointed out to the class how organized I was for writing in all our due dates in my planner as she went over the syllabus.  Feeling no shame, I immediately responded back with “Actually, I’m just writing in all our days off for the semester.”  The whole class burst into laughter and I gave my teacher, whom I have had and LOVED in my previous Natural Resources course, a classic “April smile” and closed my planner.

April's new haircut thanks to Ashley Blanchard at Lauthr Salon in Petaluma - Click this picture for her stylist profile!

April’s new haircut thanks to Ashley Blanchard at Lauthr Salon in Petaluma – Click this picture for her stylist profile!

That was my first official class of the new semester, I had one other scheduled before but as I drove around for forty minutes looking for a parking spot, I decided my bonus philosophy class towards a Humanities degree just wasn’t meant to be. So far, three class days into my next four months, I’m already eager for the semester to pass by quickly.  It’s not that I’m already irritated with school, I’m just eager to start getting things moving for my transfer to a university next Autumn.  I’m going through a battle with myself as I try to decide between pursuing a degree in something more international or sticking with Environmental Studies.  I randomly noticed that I am only one class away from an Associates Degree in Humanities though with this semester’s classes, my Natural Science AA is complete.

There’s a couple different things that are making me lean towards a Humanities or International Relations BA for my university transfer, one reason is that my grades for Humanities are straight A’s while the Natural Science consists of a C, an A, and the rest B’s.  Some of the schools I am looking at also have spiffy study abroad “Bilateral Programs” that will simply exchange my California tuition with the foreign school’s tuition.  I was looking at a school in Wales yesterday and noticed the tuition is almost $19,000 USD for a year compared to the $7000 I would be paying for my CSU (California State University) education.  That’s quite the savings to be had for going to school internationally!  Plus, I feel that I could potentially just major in both, since both fields are big interests of mine.  Perhaps I can end up doing something in the sustainability field at an international level!

Now I just need to decide on which schools to apply to!  My top choices are San Francisco State, San Jose State, Humboldt State, and UC San Diego.  I went to Humboldt this weekend and while I had a blast camping, visiting my favorite Lost Coast Brewery and seeing my buddies Amanda and Chris, I’m not sure if I was too fond of the campus.  Honestly, I just felt SO old as I walked through the student housing area that was covered in fresh eighteen year olds roaming  the courtyard in pajama pants and sweatshirts.   I just wasn’t feeling it.  I did think it was funny though as I heard one girl complaining to another about all the stairs on campus and how she hope she’ll get to used to them quickly.  She will.  😉

My month of recovering from whatever mystery ailment I have has left me into being quite lazy when it comes to climbing my own world’s stairs.  I’ve been too sore to work out but after a month, I think I’m finally ready to start working out again. My weight hasn’t changed due to my inabilities to work up a sweat, though I can tell I’ve already lost muscle definition.  I’m bummed at myself that I didn’t sign up for any more PE classes at the SRJC since they were SO great for me last semester, but with my health I didn’t want to take any risks of missing too much class.

As an update for my “tales of the uninsured”, after reading those amazingly helpful comment responses about gallstones, I had a feeling that my pain was not at all in the right place.  I went back for another appointment and signs are pointing more towards a ruptured ovarian cyst, like I first suspected.  The doctor also believes I may have poly-cystic ovary syndrome, like Alyssa, though nothing can be confirmed until I get my ultrasound.

I’m curious to hear what everyone else’s education paths were/are.  If you graduated from college, how did you decide what you wanted to get a degree in?  Did you ever change your majors?  Where did you go to school?  And how did you pick it?!!?

If you didn’t go to college, what are your reasons?  Did you ever do any classes before but couldn’t finish because of life getting in the way?

I never wanted to finish college because I have always planned on being self-employed but now that I have that sweet financial aide to motivate me, I’m super excited to finish an education in something I’m actually passionate about. It was barely a year ago that I decided I would even try to pursue more than an AA!  I think one of the best (and worst) parts of life is that things always change.  That’s why I didn’t finish eight years ago.

But now I’m a proud student, clearly shown in this picture I shall end this with.

Accepting part of my $1000 Osher-Lahm Scholarship I received!

Accepting part of my $1000 Osher-Lahm Scholarship I received!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

Lots of love,


12 thoughts on “Getting back into the school mode

  1. I went straight to university – UC San Diego, as a matter of fact (go Tritons!) – from high school, which was what everyone I went to school with did and what my parents expected me to do. If I had it to do over, I’d definitely have spent a minimum of two years at a Community College to knock out my General Education classes and figure out what I wanted to be/do with my education. I started out Pre-Communications, switched to Pre-Med for two years, then switched to English & American Literature and finally added a Political Science minor a year before graduation. Total crazy town, really.

    Love your new hair-do!

    • Hi Denise! That’s pretty awesome that you went to UCSD!

      I haven’t been back to San Diego for around ten years but I remember I loved it.. I think I should go back and check it out!

      Could you tell me if there was a “cheaper region” that would be good for a student to live? Like any cool surrounding towns within 20 minutes or so?

  2. Hi April! Your haircut is adorable!

    I have an AA but I feel like it doesn’t do much for me in the way of finding a decent job. I did go to Oregon Statw University for a year but failed a majority of my classes due to depression and an abusive relationship. I’d love to get financial aid again and finish school but in my area it would have to be online classes or something. Right now I’m pregnant with my first baby, so maybe in a few years it will work out so that I can finish my BA

    • Congrats on your baby, Erin! I know so many mothers who are able to get back into the school mode – think – you could drop off your child to kindergarten and then go off to classes yourself! I have such a fun time talking about school with the kids I work with and they’re always so interested in what I’m learning in college. 🙂

  3. As you know I went to the JC just because it’s what “you did” when you finished high school. I credit Matt for inspiring me to take the next steps to go to a “big college”. I thought I wanted to major in marine biology, but the math was too hard. Then it was creative writing, but I feared about getting a job with that degree. Finally, I settled on journalism which was perfect for me because I scored a copywriting job right out of college… and then got an MA because I decided I wanted it and would eventually like to teach night classes at local community colleges 🙂

  4. LOVE your haircut! What a great way to welcome the new semester. Thanks for the mention, Chris & I had a great dinner with you. I know you’ll go far wherever you decide to study!

  5. Fab haircut, it really flatters you!

    I always knew I wanted to major in Journalism, I decided in 8th grade that I wanted to be a journalist. I also knew I could never afford (and didn’t have the grades) to go to a university right away. I didn’t even bother with the SAT. I set my sights on getting an AA (Liberal Arts and Sciences) at Moorpark College and decided to transfer to CSUN because they had the best journalism program in my area. I considered CSUCI and UCSB too.

    Once I finally transferred I ended up switching my concentration from general Journalism to magazine then finally to Public Relations. Getting a BA was so important to me because I wanted to break the cycle and take advantage of the opportunities my great-grandparents, grandparents and parents struggled to get my generation to obtain. Everyone wants their kids to do better and I think I’ve achieved that 🙂 We get a better quality of living with each generation!

    • That’s so cool that you were able to achieve your goals of a BA! I bet your family was very proud of you! Alyssa and my family is somewhat similar, only a few people out of our entire family network have a degree and it’s nice to be an example for others that it CAN be done!

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